Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Senate Judiciary Chairman, said in his opening statement at today’s hearing that what happened “was not a few irregularities,” but rather “the system failed.”
“Trump’s time will come and go, but I hope we understand that what happened here can never happen again. Because what happened here is not a few irregularities, what happened here is the system failed. People at the highest level of our government took the law in their own hands.”
Graham criticized the way the media has reported on the IG report, saying, “You clearly didn’t read it. If that’s your takeaway that this thing was lawfully predicated, and that’s the main point, you miss the entire report.”
He claimed that the Clinton campaign was briefed on election interference by the FBI and his committee will receive a defensive briefing tomorrow, but complained that the FBI “never made any effort” to brief Donald Trump about “suspected problems” within his 2016 campaign.
On the day that Democrats proposed two articles of impeachment against him, the President and his courtiers laid down a fresh fog to obscure the evidence that incriminates him.
The President also issued a mocking defense of his conduct at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Tuesday night — arguing that the charges that he abused power and obstructed Congress are “not even a crime.”
“Everyone said this is impeachment-lite. This is the lightest impeachment in the history of our country, by far. It’s not even like an impeachment,” Trump said.
Attorney General William Barr meanwhile reprised his role spinning his boss out of trouble, dismissing his own department’s watchdog report that debunked Trump’s repeated claim that a “deep state” coup tried to bring him down. Barr also breathed fresh life into another of Trump’s conspiracy theories — that the FBI’s Russia investigation was unjustified and rooted in political bias by Obama administration officials.
“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years, I think, based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press,” Barr said Tuesday in an interview with NBC News.
The comments reflected the tendency of the Trump administration to deflect damning facts and to create new narratives that the President and his fans find more appealing.
Trump’s never ending stream of misinformation, half-truths and conspiracy theories seems designed to confuse voters, and to create ambiguity and uncertainty about the outcome of investigations in a way that leaves even the closest observer unsure about the facts.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, was asked if the President still has confidence in FBI director Christopher Wray.
Graham replied as he walked into the hearing: “I don’t know, you’d have to ask, I do.”
Some background: Inspector general Michael Horowitz, the DOJ watchdog, is testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary committee this morning about his report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The report revealed the 2016 Trump campaign Russia probe was justified and unbiased.